Broken Fluorescent Lamps

In the event that a fluorescent lamp is broken, you must perform the following procedure in order to safely clean the area.

CAUTION: WEAR A DUST MASK, NITRILE GLOVES AND SAFETY GLASSES WHEN CLEANING UP A BROKEN LAMP. A BROKEN LAMP MAY RESULT IN EXPOSURE TO PHOSPHOR POWDER DUST AND TO ELEMENTAL MERCURY VAPOR. THE PHOSPHOR CONTAINS THALLIUM, WHICH CAN BE ABSORBED THROUGH THE SKIN OR INHALED.

  1. Instruct all personnel to leave the area.
  2. Open exterior doors and windows to ventilate the room.
  3. Leave the room for 15 minutes.
  4. Before re-entering the room to begin cleaning, you must be wearing disposable gloves, dust mask and safety glasses.
  5. Clean up broken glass using pieces of stiff paper or cardboard, (such as an index card). Do not use a broom or a vacuum.
  6. Start on the outer edge of the area to be cleaned and work your way across systematically. This will prevent you from collecting broken glass and phosphor powder on your shoes.
  7. Use wide strips of tape (packing tape or duct tape) to pick up the remaining small pieces of glass and phosphor powder.
  8. Wipe the entire area clean with damp paper towels.
  9. Wipe your shoes, in particular the bottom of your shoes, with a damp paper towel.
  10. Place all debris, cleaning materials, gloves, and dust mask into a disposable bag and seal the bag.
  11. Place the disposable bag into a hazardous-waste container.
  12. If your clothes were contaminated as a result of the initial breakage or because of the cleaning process, dispose of your clothing as hazardous waste. Do not leave the facility with contaminated clothing.
  13. Dispose of all collected materials in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations.
  14. Wash all exposed skin thoroughly.

For additional information, please see the following:

https://www.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl#instructions

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3536.pdf